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When Should You Take Your Pet to the Vet?

As pet owners, we strive to keep our furry companions happy and healthy. However, knowing when to bring them in can be tricky. Is it better to wait and see if things resolve themselves on their own or err on the side of caution by bringing your pet in immediately for every concern?

This article will review key symptoms indicating when an examination or surgery might be needed at your veterinarian’s clinic.

Signs of Illness

One of the clearest indications that your pet requires medical care is when they begin showing symptoms of illness. These may include:

  • Lethargy and decreased energy
  • Lack of appetite or sudden weight loss
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Coughing or sneezing
  • Changes in behavior, such as aggression or excessive grooming
  • Lameness or limping

If your companion exhibits any of the symptoms listed above, they must get examined by a veterinarian immediately. Such symptoms could indicate any number of minor to severe health conditions that require early identification and treatment to ensure an effective outcome.

Routine Exams

Dog exams in Baltimore, MD, are vitally important, even if there are no symptoms of illness. A vet will conduct a comprehensive physical examination during a routine visit and may suggest additional tests or preventative measures such as vaccinations, parasite prevention, or dental care as needed.

As a rule of thumb, veterinarians usually recommend that cats and dogs receive at least one comprehensive exam per year. The same applies to exotic pets. Routine exams enable your veterinarian to monitor your pet’s overall health over time, identify any issues early and provide guidance for maintaining their well-being. You may click here to learn more about exotic pet care.

Preventative Care

Beyond regular vet exams, you can take various preventive care measures to keep your pet healthy and reduce the likelihood of surgery. Some examples of preventative measures include:

  • Keeping your pet up-to-date on vaccinations
  • Regularly administering flea and tick prevention medication
  • Brushing your pet’s teeth and scheduling regular dental cleanings
  • Keeping your pet at a healthy weight
  • Providing a healthy diet and maintaining daily exercise

Taking these preventive steps can help keep your pet healthy and minimize more invasive procedures like surgery.

When to Seek Emergency Care

There may be times when your pet requires emergency veterinary attention outside regular business hours, which may necessitate seeking immediate medical assistance. 

Signs that this could be the case may include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Profuse bleeding
  • Seizures or Convulsions
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Traumatic incidents, such as being struck by a vehicle or falling from heights
  • Ingestion of Toxins or Foreign Objects

If your pet has consumed toxic or foreign objects, pet surgery at Falls Road Animal Hospital might be necessary. Immediately contact the local animal hospital, as any delay could have catastrophic repercussions for them. Even waiting a few hours could have serious consequences for their well-being.


Deliberating why and when to bring your pet in for medical attention can be challenging. However, it’s wiser to err on caution and seek medical advice if any concerns arise about their well-being. Routine exams and preventative care can keep your furry friend healthy while decreasing the chance of more invasive procedures like surgery becoming necessary in the future. By being attentive to their needs and seeking veterinary assistance when necessary, you can help ensure they live a long and healthy life.